Philando Castile

Grieving

I woke this morning to the news of the shooting death of Philando Castile by a police officer just a few miles from my home. He was pulled over because he had a broken tail light and he ended up shot to death. This comes on the heels of the Alton Sterling shooting which is just the latest in a seemingly endless list of black lives senselessly lost at the hands of officers who are pledged to protect them.

This is personal for me. I have four black grandchildren who are so precious to me, and I’m frankly afraid for them. I see their faces in everyone one of these innocent victims. And I’m enraged. I have not stopped shaking since watching the horrific video of Philando bleeding to death next to his girlfriend two hours ago.

Most of all, I’m grieving. I grieve for all who knew and loved Philando as well as for all who loved the untold number of black people shot by police. I grieve for the black community who are forced to live in a different and much less safe America than I and most other white people live in. And I grieve for those white people who are unaware of the privilege their whiteness affords them and who thus deny, once again, the systemic racism that afflicts far too many police forces in America.

Lord, forgive us for the ways we have done violence to people who bear your image, who are your children, and who possess unsurpassable worth. Bring comfort to all who are grieving. Bring healing and repentance. Bring justice. And gives us the wisdom to know “what would bring peace” (Lk 19:42) in this moment.

Image via kare11.com

Related Reading

Why do some of Jesus’ parables depict God in violent ways?

Greg deals with the question of what it means that some of Jesus’ parables seem to depict God in violent terms. In addition to getting an answer to this question you’ll be treated to a window into Greg’s graceful way of moving through the world. Really classy. Enjoy!

Things I liked and things that bugged me about “Noah”

I finally had a chance to go see Noah the other night and thought some might find a review helpful. Since this is a review of a movie and not a commentary on the biblical text, I’m setting aside all theological issues that surround this narrative, such as whether it was a local or global flood…

Is Having the “Right” Theology the Core of Christianity?

Last week, we posted a piece by Greg that challenges the practice being violent “in the name of Jesus” toward others who err theologically. (Click here to read this post.) Being that this piece got a lot of attention, we thought it worthwhile to provide some further explication to this point, especially in the light…

What’s Wrong With The World?

 Hartwig HKD via Compfight The reports coming out of Fort Hood this morning once again highlight that our world is messed up. And it often feels like we are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as we try to find answers to address the problems we face. Here are some reflections by Greg on…

Getting Behind the “Letter” of Violent Portraits of God

“I will do to you what I have never done before… in your midst parents will eat their children, and children will eat their parents…” Ezek. 5:9-10 In my previous post I offered a brief review of Matthew Bates’ fascinating work, The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation by Matthew Bates (Baylor University Press, 2012). Among other…

A Calvinist Take on the Problem of Evil

Carnie Lewis via Compfight Here’s a Calvinist view on the problem(s) of evil in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. It’s the old God-as-author analogy. In essence, this is how Calvinism views God’s role in any instance of radical evil (quoted from the Desiring God article): But, of course, the Bible says more than…